Do you ever think about homeschool statistics and the success of homeschooling? There are currently over 2 million homeschool students. How does homeschooling compare to public education really? Let's talk about How and Why Homeschooling Works.
What about academics?
Academically, homeschoolers score significantly higher on achievement tests than public school students. In a K-12 study, homeschoolers score in the 87th percentile in reading, 80th percentile in total Language, 82nd percentile in math, 84th percentile in science, and 85th percentile in social studies.
What about qualifications?
A homeschool parents' level of education has little to do with the success of their homeschooled children. Whether the parent has less than a high school education, or has a college degree, the academic success of homeschooling still stays within the range of 80-88th percentile. While some parents happen to be certified teachers, that doesn't equate to improved academics in children, either. Whether parents have a teaching degree or not, their students tend to score in the 80th - 88th percentile overall.
What about diversity?
While it's true that 77% of homeschoolers are Caucasian, according to a 2003 study, it's important to remember than the general population of students that same year was 62.3% Caucasian. So while there is still a discrepancy, homeschoolers from all racial and ethnic backgrounds homeschool successfully.
Should states regulate homeschooling?
State regulatory laws appear to have no impact on outcomes. Low regulation states and high regulation states both have an average 86th percentile overall in academic performance. In addition, students in low regulated states tend to have higher SAT college scores than students in highly regulated states. Do you know your state homeschool regulations? If not, you can find it in my article, Know Your State Homeschool Law.
What is the cost of homeschooling?
There are no recent studies, but in 2005, the average family spent $600 per year homeschooling, while the average public school spend $9963 providing education to one student. While there is a huge cost savings when educating one child at home, test scores are not necessarily increased when parents spend more money on homeschooling.
What about family income?
The income of a homeschooling family does not impact student success in homeschooling. Whether extremely low income, or significantly well off, the statistics of academic achievement is maintained. Students of all income levels score in the 82nd to 92nd percentile. In contrast, family income is tied to achievement in public schools, but is not in homeschooling.
What about socialization?
Homeschoolers have more time to engage in their community and attend activities. They are also more likely to interact with people of all ages, rather than just being friends with students of the same age. 98 percent of homeschoolers are involved in two or more activities that provide regular socialization.
Do homeschooled adults succeed?
Grown adults who were homeschooled display more civic engagement than their public school counterparts. While homeschoolers are diverse politically, they all tend to be more politically active than non-homeschooled students. They are more likely to write, make phone calls, sign petitions, and work for candidates, as well as make financial contributions to campaigns.. Of homeschooled graduates, 71% are involved in community service, compared with only 37% of the general population.
Who are homeschoolers?
Parents choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons cited are so they can customize and individualize education, and accomplish more academically. Parents homeschool to promote a strong family and to guide healthy interactions. They homeschool to keep their children safe from physical harm, sexualization, bullying, drugs, alcohol, and psychological harm. They homeschool to instill their values, beliefs, and worldview.
(The homeschool statistics in this article are taken from Home Education Reason and Research: Common Questions and Research-Based Answers About Homeschooling, by Dr. Brian D. Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute: NHERI.org.)
Why does homeschooling work?
Homeschooling works because parents love their children and are deeply committed to their education and development. Aware of their own limitations (whether it's their own lack of education or a lack or finances) they are careful to find ways to compensate. Hard work and a library can overcome financial constraints. Carefully choosing curriculum can compensate for a lack of knowledge in different subjects.
If you need help in getting started in homeschooling, these resources will help.
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